Published on January 23rd, 2019 | by Emergent Enterprise0
Walmart’s Next Generation of Managers Will Train Using a Video Game
Gaming can be just one approach in a variety of training options to strengthen employee knowledge. Julia La Roche of Yahoo Finance shares how Walmart is using the Spark City game to connect with manager trainees in a compelling and consistent (and maybe even fun at times!) method.
Nearly 250,000 Walmart (WMT) store associates aspiring to be a department manager will start playing a video game as part of their training.
Called “Spark City,” the game is an app that lets players create their own avatar and run the Dry Grocery department. The idea is to reenact a department manager’s day, from the customers to the chaos.
“We knew we needed a way for associates to learn in a safe environment,” said Andy Trainor, senior director of Walmart Academies. “While we teach them on the sales floor still with customer interaction in a live store you’re less likely to have the freedom to make mistakes because it impacts customers.”
During the simulation, players must complete tasks in both the backroom and the sales floor while dealing with random events and interruptions like customer questions, vendor visits, and spills.
The game tracks three key performance indicators — product availability known as On Shelf Customer Availability (OSCA), customer satisfaction also known as CFF (clean/fast/friendly), and Sales. Once a player has achieved a high enough score, they can advance to managing the Lawn & Garden department, an even more challenging environment where they have to water plants to do more customer interaction.